Finding Your Focus

Welcome to thdavid-1e third installment of my series on generating more income. We’re currently looking at the potential in starting your own business.

Please remember that no amount of additional income will permanently change your life for the better if you do not first have control of your current income.

Simply Budgets has been all about helping people take control of their income for over 20 yrs! Now we’re looking at how to earn more money once you have things under control!

Last time I asked you to focus on your hobbies, passions and interests and make a list of all of the problems that people would like to have solved and all of the things that are not easy that could be made easier.

Let’s face it, you are NOT going to be motivated to dedicate lots of your spare time working on creating a business around something you do not like so focusing on your hobbies and passions is where you should start!

So, did you find it hard or easy to make a list after last weeks message?

I asked students in one of my classes when I was a school teacher to identify one household problem or thing that could be made easier and to come up with a product idea from that. One student came up with the idea of a toothbrush where you squeeze the handle and toothpaste squirts up from between the bristles. That is definitely a great example of making something easier!

Clearly she never took the idea to the market place though!

Let’s keep going.

People primarily do things because of an emotion or feeling and the most common two that get people to take action are Pain and Pleasure.

You want to offer something that will give people more pleasure or less pain. That’s why I said to identify problems that need to be solved and things that could be made easier.

I revealed last time that I love old motorcycles and I get a lot of pleasure out of riding them and restoring them to brand-new condition. I also said there were plenty of problems that need to be overcome during a restoration project so I knew the general topic of restoring motorcycles had potential.

Now just because you love something it doesn’t mean abundant opportunity is there! To be in business you need to make a profit and to do that you need to attract customers who are willing to pay significantly more than it costs to deliver a service or product to them.

So, the question you need to ask is, “How many other people love this thing or have the same problem that I am considering and is there potential to make a profit?”

I understood that there were enough other guys like me out there who shared that same passion to identify it as a POSSIBLE niche for a business opportunity but more consideration was necessary.

You would think that the more people you can appeal to, the more potential you would have to make sales and there is some truth in that.

For example, with my Simply Budgets software, 90% of the population have money stress and are looking for a solution. However, when it comes to marketing it is much easier to focus on one niche within that wider overall group. Your message will get lost in the crowd if it is too generic. You want to focus on a niche that is an “inch wide and a mile deep” not a “mile wide and an inch deep”!

So let’s look at my passion for old motorbikes and see how this applies. I don’t love just ANY old motorcycles. I love restoring and riding Triumphs, and not just ANY Triumphs, but the models I rode in my youth (it’s an ‘old guy’ thing!).

How much easier do you think it would be reaching out to a specific brand than all brands? That’s an inch wide compared to a mile wide! Much easier.

And focusing on the models from an era that thousands and thousands of baby boomers loved to ride means that not only have I narrowed the niche, I can appeal to their emotions as well. The feelings they remember from the ‘good old days’ when they were young and free give me the possible mile deep that I need as well.

If I was talking about the toothbrushes they used when they were teenagers they would not even be interested, but talking about the motorbikes they loved and rode, that could get them going!

So your task for the next week is to look at your list and start to identify how you can narrow the niche on some of your ideas and get them as narrow and deep as possible. Try to get specific to make it narrow and passionate for depth!

You may need to scrub out a lot of what you had on the list and think a little sideways, or maybe the pearl is right there on your list already and now it is getting clearer.

Next I want you to start another list. This list is about YOU. List all your attributes.

  • What are you good at?
  • What could you improve on?
  • How do people see you?
  • Are you an expert in something?
  • Do you like helping people?
  • Do you like dealing with people?
  • How much time do you have available?
  • How could you free up more time for something you really got passionate about and wanted to do?
  • What could/would you sell to raise some cash to help you start your own business if needed?
  • What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  • What do you really want for your life?
  • Why do you want that?
  • How much do you want it?
  • What are you prepared to do to achieve it?
  • If you do start a business what will you be doing; making or managing?
  • Will you need help?
  • Who could help you?
  • Should you work with a partner?
  • If you had a partner what skills would they need to compliment yours?
  • More…
  • More…

Start writing and let your pen lead you. One question leads to the next and the next and so on.

See what comes up for you and we’ll go further next time.

That’s it for now.

By the way…If you feel you are not cut out for coming up with your own idea or finding a niche but are looking for a ready-made business opportunity you could get passionate about, have a look at